What Is the Combining Form Meaning Bone Marrow or Spinal Cord?

The prefix "myelo" refers to a combining form that means "bone marrow" or "of the spinal cord," notes Reference.com. Myelo forms compound words with other medical terminology to describe anatomy, conditions, tests and processes in bone marrow and of the spinal cord.

For example, myelodysplastic syndrome is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow cannot make enough healthy blood cells. Abnormal cells appear in the blood as a result of myelodysplastic syndrome, and these unhealthy cells leave less room for healthy blood cells in bone marrow. Most unhealthy cells die in the marrow or the bloodstream, but other disorders, such as anemia and infections, may occur, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Myelograms use X-rays and contrast dyes to detect problems with the spine that occur in fluid-filled spaces between bones of the spine, notes WebMD. Myelograms help doctors diagnose tumors, infections, arthritis and herniated discs in the spinal column. Contrast dye is inserted into these fluid-filled spaces with small needles so doctors can see nerve roots and the spinal cord on X-ray pictures.

Myelomeningocele is a type of spina bifida, a congenital birth defect in which the backbone and spinal cord do not close before birth. The spinal cord, and tissues covering the bones, protrude from a child's back because these tissues did not close properly while in the womb, according to MedlinePlus. Myelomeningocele affects 1 in every 4,000 infants born in the United States, as of December 2014.